Plumbing – How to Avoid the Looney Bin

Do you remember the old Kohler ad where the lady puts a faucet on the architect’s desk and says,”Design a house around this?”

I remember this ad so clearly, like it was a ominous warning from God long ago! Don’t you love the perplexed look on her husband’s face? He nailed it!

Times have changed in the plumbing industry, dramatically. I would recommend beginning the plumbing shopping right after the style of the house is determined. It will seriously take you that long to:
1. Find fixtures that fit within your budget.
2. Determine finish sections for the whole project.
3. Order the valves for the plumbing rough-in so you are not stuck in a back order time delay.
4. Go to fifty million showrooms and box stores who have limited product lines.
5. Come to grips on how you feel about plastic and if you like paying lots of money for it.

As you know, I’m on a budget but plumbing is a tough one to stay on budget without always picturing a leaky faucet in your mind. Our last house, I bought everything from Home Depot and it barely made five years without issues. We installed all of the faucets and showers ourselves and it was a pain with missing plastic components and the operation was faulty.

10 years later, the quality of plumbing is significantly worse at Home Depot and Lowe’s. It’s an isle of plastic with chrome over it. Plastic inside and out is not a good combo for longevity. Who are these manufacturers kidding?

Even Hansgrohe/Grohe have jumped on the plastic bandwagon. They have an excellent brand reputation and now they are charging a ton of money for cheap plastic trim pieces. They still make a great faucet. But if you want the matching line for the shower, you get plastic shower trim and heads. Get ready to tap your fingernails on everything!

I refuse to pay a lot of money for plastic or even half plastic/half decent quality. So after much stressful deliberation, lack of time, quality for the money, I’m going with Toto and a hint of California Faucets and Kohler. I don’t have the budget, but love the quality of Rohl, Lefroy Brooks, Graff and more.


So, if you will be remodeling or building, remember the brilliant lady in the video. Get on the plumbing fixtures ASAP. Then you can take your time using my previous tips on saving money on the internet!
~ Regards from the looney bin,
General Mom

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Ephesians 6:10